Today’s Thoughts: Recognizing and responding to God seems to be the tread that connects our two readings today. In the first reading from the Book of Jonah, Jonah is finally convinced by God to go to Nineveh and preach his message. Before Jonah gets a third of the way through the city the people begin to repent. They proclaim a fast and put on sackcloth. As the word of God's message gets to the king, he puts on sackcloth and sits in ashes. In other words, much to Jonah's surprise the people hear God's word and respond to it right away. There is no debate, no bargaining, no resistance, the people hear the word of God and repent!
In the Gospel Jesus uses the example of Jonah to make his point to the people he is preaching to. His point is that God is in their midst, but they are missing this gift. Other people, people you would not expect, people outside the faith community hear the word of God and respond but people in the faith community do not. They want signs and yet God in right in their midst.
Recognizing and responding to God, that is always the challenge. It is certainly the challenge for us today. How many times is God present in our lives and we fail to recognize him? How many times does God speak to us and we fail to hear or listen?
God is compassionate and forgiving but we have to recognize him, we have to hear and respond. This was the biggest problem for the religious leaders of Jesus' time, God was right in their midst and they did not recognize him; they did not hear and respond to him. Let us not make the same mistake. Today let us be open and aware to the many ways God enters into our lives and invites us into his mercy and love!
Have a blessed Wednesday everyone!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...